12:09 PM

Professor Uses Storytelling as a Means of Fostering Student Creativity and Courage

Dr. Hank Roubicek, UHDIn her book, "The Art of Storytelling," author Nancy Mellon notes, "Because there is a natural storytelling urge and ability in all human beings, even just a little nurturing of this impulse can bring about astonishing and delightful results."

Hank Roubicek, UHD professor of communication studies, routinely witnesses these results first-hand as he cultivates a love for storytelling in his students and gives them a public platform to express themselves.

In his weekly radio show, "So, What's Your Story?," Roubicek invites UHD students and faculty to tap into the power of their own stories as a means of showcasing their talents and creative repertoires and, in some cases, courage.

"The show offers students a chance to engage in human expression, while demonstrating to the community our incredible collection of creative young people, whose linguistic and semantic capabilities go far beyond the more cryptic speech often encouraged by today's hurried lifestyles."

Guests on the show - broadcast on KPFT (90.1 F.M.) each Monday at 6 a.m. - can tell any type of story they desire, including personal narratives, fables or fairy tales, but original stories are especially encouraged. In an easy-going, interactive dialogue, host Roubicek introduces each week's storyteller and, following the telling of their story, prods the guest to analyze his or her motivations, and the rewards that storytelling brings.

On a recent show, UHD humanities major, Lacrecia Hinton, said, "Storytelling has taught me passion and how to connect myself with things that matter. Storytelling helps you grow as a person and really know who you are on the inside."

Criminal justice major and recent guest, Miguel Rodriguez, agreed, "Sharing my story helped me to grow. It's not just telling a story. It's a way of communicating with people and making them listen to what you have to say."

"So, What's Your Story?" began airing weekly this summer, and is a continuation of Roubicek's successful monthly radio show, "Storytime," which he hosted for the past seven years. His new weekly show shares the same name as a book Roubicek published that extols the benefits of storytelling and the rewards of both sharing and listening to others' oral histories.

Roubicek also serves as president of the Houston Storytellers Guild, which is committed to the educational aspects of storytelling. As the guild's website notes, all of its members "have first-hand knowledge about just how powerful a teaching tool a well-told story can be."

Roubicek invites UHD students and faculty members to submit stories they would like to share on his radio show. Those who are interested should contact him directly at roubicekh@uhd.edu and can learn more about the program by visiting www.houstonstorytellers.org.